Catherine de Valois
Daughter of King Charles VI of France and Isabella of Bavaria, Catherine was born in a palace in Paris on Oct. 27, 1401. At the age of nineteen, Catherine was sent to England to marry the future King Henry V (many years her senior).
The beautiful Catherine would become Queen of England the year right after (1421). Life was happening in a flash. Within that same year she would give birth to a son, Henry. A great celebration for the new heir…sadly, the year would end in mourning with the death of King Henry V, her husband.
Catherine was left a widow by the age of twenty-two. And despite all the ‘guarding of the Queen’, it would be her keeper of her wardrobe that lit up her heart to love once again…Enter Owen Tudor.
Their relationship lasted until the Queen’s death. Together they had at least five children and all (lucky for them!) acknowledged by their half brother, King Henry VI. But, alas, one more birth would take the best of poor Catherine in terms of her health. At the young age of thirty-six, Catherine died shortly after that childbirth. Unfortunately, history doesn't have much on what her personality may have been like, so the best we can assume is that she was at the very least a good mother and wife. Owen outlived her almost twenty-five years until he was executed by the Yorkists.
The result of their relationship however, would create a huge impact on history. It was their son Edmund and wife Margaret Beaufort who would produce a new king for England; King Henry VII. And that’s how the Tudors were introduced into history.
Interesting food for thought: Apparently there never was any document proving the legal marriage of Catherine and Owen- and there still is that questionable nature regarding its validity under an English Act. That in itself still has historians debating and speculating about the whole legitimacy of the Tudor Dynasty.
One can only imagine how different things might have been…
|From History and Women|